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Glasses for Glass

Some designs are just too intricate to create completely with glass. For this piece, I wanted glasses–lots of glasses. So I’m using a fusible decal. It’s backed with white paper and was printed on our Brother laser printer. However I didn’t use the regular toner cartridge. Instead I used a ceramic transfer magnetic toner cartridge from AAA Toner. Once printed, I soaked it for 30 seconds in distilled water to separate the decal from the white backing sheet.

Decal in Sink

Decal on the Glass

I carefully placed the backing sheet and decal on the glass, then slid out the paper while holding the decal in place at one corner. I used the soft red squeegee to push air bubbles from under the decal out to the edges. Those would have left bubbles in the final design. I’ve picked Bullseye Glass Dense White Opalescent glass, 3mm thick, to help pop the eyeglasses in the final product. That’s because the decal will fade to a sepia color when the piece is fused.

Decal on Glass

Close-up of Decal

You can see in the glare how well the decal has taken the texture of the glass. Also visible is the bottom straight edge of the decal.

Decal on Glass Close-up

Clear Powder

Because I’m going to cover the entire piece with a 3mm piece of clear glass, I’ve put a fine, thin layer of clear powder over the decal. It’ll help to minimize any bubbles that want to form under the top layer of clear glass.

Clear Powder Layer

Capped with Clear 

I like to cap pieces with clear glass for two reasons: (1) it makes the final plate food safe and (2) it gives the underlying design a nice depth. Here you can see the entire glass-decal-powder-glass sandwich. Mmmm.

Clear Layer of Glass

Ready to Fuse

Placed in the back on the left is the eyeglass plate ready to fuse in the kiln. Below you can see the piece after it’s been fully fused. If you look carefully, you’ll see that the black eyeglasses have faded, but there’s a super nice gradient effect that’s happened. The toner had a 58.99% iron oxide content. I’m guessing that the amount of iron in the ink can be variable as it comes out of the cartridge. However it happened, it’s a very nice effect.

Loaded into the Kiln

Time to Slump

I’ve chosen a large mold with a subtle curve so that I don’t distort the detailed design of the eyeglasses too much. Below you can see the result.

Ready to Slump
Slumped Nicely

Final Result

I am delightfully surprised at how nicely this turned out. The fine eyeglass designs held together under firing and even took on a gradient color. There is no trace of the decal sheet itself, and I’ve got a unique design that I haven’t seen anywhere else. The only question is: what next for decals?

Final Result
Always Fruit


SEGMENT RATE (deg F / hour) TEMPERATURE (F) HOLD (hours:minutes)
1 300 1125 :15
2 100 1225 :15
3 AFAP 1490 :10
4 AFAP 900 1:00
5 100 700 OFF


SEGMENT RATE (deg F / hour) TEMPERATURE (F) HOLD (hours:minutes)
1 300 1160 :05
2 AFAP 900 1:00
3 100 700 OFF

* The firing schedules may be designed for other projects that were fired with this one. Everything was fired in a Paragon GL-22AD.